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Cromer hospital eye clinics need helpers to support patients

14:14 10 September 2012

Volunteers are needed at Cromer Hospital to provide comfort, support and advice to people facing the trauma of losing their sight.

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The Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind provides the service at daily eye clinics to make sure a caring face is available for patients immediately after they have been given the shattering news.

The charity’s eye clinic liaison officer Angela Howard said consultants delivering a bleak diagnosis had limited time with each patient, which was when the volunteers were essential to explain issues in more detail and offer a “shoulder to cry on”.

She added: “Being told your sight is failing and that there’s nothing that can be done about it is obviously a very traumatic experience. Our volunteers can calmly and sympathetically talk through a person’s fears and anxieties, reassure them and begin to help them come to terms with things.”

It often hit men particularly hard when they were told after a lifetime of independence that they could not drive any more.

The volunteers will spend as long as necessary, over several sessions, with each referral, processing their registration as sight impaired, and put them in touch with the range of other services provided by the NNAB.

If you can help, contact Mrs Howard on 01603 629558, e-mail her at angelahoward@nnab.org.uk or contact her deputy Helen Dady at helendady@nnab.org.uk.

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